Legendary composer and songwriter Bruce Broughton may be playing and singing the blues after his Oscar nomination for low-budget film Alone Yet Not Alone was disqualified.
The musician, best known for his orchestral work for Silverado, Homeward Bound and other film favorites, discovered that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences repealed his nomination because Broughton directly reached out to voters.
The Academy said in a statement that Broughton violated “the integrity of the Oscars voting process.”
Broughton sent a private e-mail (featured in a CBS News piece, found below) to one-third of voters in the music branch, according to an Entertainment Weekly article.
The composer is accused of breaking Academy rules by identifying which song was his (on the DVD containing all of the eligible pieces). DVDs like this are sent to voters in a specific branch of the Academy. The Academy reasons that anonymity prevents more renowned artists from receiving additional support, should voters know whose song is whose.
CBS News helped magnify the story to the general public eye after airing a segment on CBS This Morning.
But Broughton’s actions, simply asking for potential voters to consider his much-overlooked song in an equally-ignored independent film, does not cross any improper boundaries.
Each year major studios directly appeal to voters to take note of their respective films and performers in widely used “For Your Consideration” campaigns, often found in trade publications including The Hollywood Reporter.
Broughton said he was devastated to hear that his debut Oscar nomination was revoked.
Famous musical friends like Hans Zimmer (Inception, The Lion King) and author Doug Adams (The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films) have come to Broughton’s aid.
Adams shared this tweet to his fans.
Broughton’s seemingly harmless actions become more complicated when considering that he served as governor of the Academy’s music branch for nearly two decades.
Some could contend that he used his once-prestigious position to influence voters.
Broughton did nothing wrong, as his e-mail clearly indicates, since he did not compel them to vote for it.
Hitfix expands on the public relations backlash the Academy Awards has faced in light of the hullaballoo.
Perhaps what is most surprising is that the song was even nominated in the first place.
Seventy-five songs proved eligible this year, and all four of the nominated pieces (now excluding Broughton’s piece) came from films most individuals have seen or heard of (Frozen, Mandela: Walk to Freedom, Her, Despicable Me 2).
That Broughton’s song even received a nomination before the controversy emerged is a miracle in itself. But clouded by a retraction, perhaps Alone Yet Not Alone will never again be forgotten.
Likely this incident will not damage Broughton’s highly-regarded reputation, but it puts into question to what extent films and individuals can pitch their products.
Should Broughton’s nomination have been revoked if you had a role in making a decision? Share your thoughts.
The Academy Awards airs Sunday, March 2nd on ABC.